As If Performance Royalty Threat Wasn't Enough, ASCAP, BMI Want To Increase Radio Royalties

from the squeeze-squeeze-squeeze dept

While the RIAA keeps pushing and pushing for a performance tax for radio stations, it looks like ASCAP and BMI on the songwriter/composer side are apparently now looking to increase their existing tax on stations (via Michael Scott). As you probably know, right now, stations do pay royalties to ASCAP and BMI for the “performance right” on music they play on the radio, which gets distributed to the composers and songwriters. But performers don’t get a royalty, as Congress recognized (correctly) that radio was free advertising for musicians. So, the first battle is about adding another tax, but this newer battle would be about increasing the existing one.

Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise. As we’ve been detailing lately, ASCAP, BMI and other similar groups around the world have gone on something of a rampage lately, trying to get larger and larger fees from just about any use of music — including ringtones, the 30-second previews on iTunes, and YouTube videos embedded in blogs (despite the fact that YouTube already pays a fee). Sucks to be a terrestrial radio station these days. Not only do you have a ton of new competition from other sources, but the rest of the industry is looking to tax you until you’re gone.

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Companies: ascap, bmi

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Comments on “As If Performance Royalty Threat Wasn't Enough, ASCAP, BMI Want To Increase Radio Royalties”

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R. Miles (profile) says:

If it wasn't for revenue...

…radio stations should buck the trend at carrying label music and work with artists who want airplay but can’t get it without a label contract.

It strikes me as odd the music industry isn’t paying radio to air their goods. After all, it’s an advertising platform, so when did this model get backward?

Unfortunately, the teenagers out there will still want their idols who can’t think, and without them, it’s hard for a station to make change.

Music’s success shouldn’t be based on what label the artist is contracted with.

Here’s hoping radio station owners help with “piracy” by playing music freely available, by the artist, online.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No, they don’t.

As near as I can tell, they (along with “news” companies) really believe that they have a product that is so compelling that the only possible reason they might see their revenues fall is because somebody somewhere is stealing from them in some way. They don’t believe they need anything — better product, better service, better business plan — nothing. In short, they got used to having a de facto monopoly and can’t conceive of a universe where that isn’t the case, where they might need others more than others need them.

They are dinosaurs, the meteor has hit, and their brains can’t understand what’s happening.

In the end they will go extinct and the newfangled mammals will take over.

Glenn says:


make the labels and artists pay for all of that “free” advertising they get. Of course, I stopped listening to the “radio” many years ago because they stopped playing actual music most of the time: 50+% non-music (commercials, yak-yak-yak, etc.) and what “music” they did play was crap. Yeah, go ahead… tax them out of existence… see what kind of money you get then.

Anonymous Coward says:

I noticed something, a very interesting trick of words:

“looking to increase their existing tax on stations”

There is no tax. The use of the word tax is done to create a negative concept of what the fees are about. They are not a tax. Only the government can collect taxes. Nobody else can create a tax. They create a fee structure, a rate table.

Taxes are NOT optional. Rates are optional – a station can go to an all talk format and not use any music, and not have to pay a fee. However, no matter what the station does, they will have to pay a property tax, etc.

Tax. Sneaky word.

Sort of like this:

It’s not a tax.

Anonymous Coward says:

The fact “songwriters” get paid and “musicians” is very wrong. Name me a single mainstream “singer” who isn’t a “songwriter”. They don’t exist. If your not a “singer-songwriter”, no label will sign you, and you’ll never earn anything. The so called “singer-songwriter” always have co-writers on all their songs because they lack the talent themselves, but by industry rules, they must be “songwriters” to collect that royalty.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

Let 'em charge what they want.

I say, let ’em charge all they want. I’ve dropped cable/satellite due to the high cost. I’ve stopped listening to over the air radio anyway because I don’t like the programming. Here’s another one for you, fine people to hum a tune. I’m sure you can post listening devices all over the cities and fine people for humming a copyrighted song in public. If people are going keep stealing IP by not paying for creative works over and over, then as a civil society, we owe it to artists and designers to coerce money from its denizens. We should also stop allowing people to wear designer clothes without paying for the design to the designer over and over. This madness must stop now!

Brain (profile) says:

ascap bmi perf royalty

ASCAP and BMI charge for a blanket license. The license pays for access to all the pro repertory, not avtual us of repertory. It is a crock, a con, right out there in the open. Radio and TV pay for a lot o music they never brioadcast. And the member or affils of ascap and bmi get cheated becaus their music is used to generate the license, but thy wion’t get paid for it.

What a crock. And musicians buy it.

charly (profile) says:


These organizations are nothing more than parasites on the backs of their host artists. They threaten clubs, radio stations, even people whistling tunes at work, with lawsuits if they don’t cease from playing music. Fine. Let’s just say goodbye to music as we know it. I used to work in radio and there was something called payola. That was when the record companies actually PAID stations to play their artists. Now they have subverted and perverted the music industry by forcing stations to pay them??? And you wonder why there aren’t any good music stations anymore? It’s not because there isn’t good new music out there, because there is — it’s because al, charge so much that stations can’t afford it anymore. Are you a band looking for someone to actually play your music on the air? Then I’d suggest you register your music with the Library of Congress and get out there and promote your music. Don’t give it to ASCAP, BMI or SEISAC because they’ll make sure NOBODY plays it. And if anyone does, they’ll take the money and you won’t see a dime. There are no regulations on how much they have to give you — which means they can keep it all and say that no one was playing your music. They’re the ones supposedly holding the proof, and you actually trust them to admit it, when they can keep it all for themselves, if they don’t?

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